Monday, November 15, 2010

the big one....

When the brain injury occurs after birth, yet during the developmental years, the adolescent period will still have the usual changes. However, the issues may be somewhat different depending on the level of learning, life experience and cognitive preservation. All adolescents experience some degree of cognitive change as a normal consequence of hormonal changes, such as:

•  poor problem solving and judgment
•  impaired reasoning skills 
•  memory and attention difficulties
•  mood swings
•  disinhibited thought and actions, an inability to judge what is private and what may be appropriate in public settings
•  inability to read social cues from others and poor ability to manage relationships

These common problems may be magnified as a result of brain injury, making management very difficult for parents as well as extended family, teachers and peers whom, for lack of understanding, often choose to distance themselves from the adolescent. 
Barton, B, Tepper, M. Adolescence, Brain Injury, and Sexuality: Promoting Sexual Health. Brain Injury/Professional. 7(1) 18-20, 2010.
Notice the BOLDED italics!? Basically what I have been trying to get people to understand just in general about living with a teen with a TBI... sigh 

So basically I have been blind sided again. I had thought that maybe things were going better for us, then we have had a major smack up the head from the adolescence fairy. Teen issues are bad enough but now we are once again having to decipher if it is just that or a TBI issue. I am so tired both physically AND emotionally just from one child... I have to really struggle some days to find the energy to be there for the rest of the kids. The above article's last paragraph did make me laugh tho... people often choose to distance themselves from the adolescent!? Some days I seriously wish I could!

But then the poem " the Footprints in the Sand"poem comes to mind...

I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets
of footprints in the sand,
one belonging to me
and one to my Lord.

When the last scene of my life shot before me
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
There was only one set of footprints.
I realized that this was at the lowest
and saddest times of my life.
This always bothered me
and I questioned the Lord
about my dilemma.

“Lord, you told me when I decided to follow You,
You would walk and talk with me all the way.
But I'm aware that during the most troublesome
times of my life there is only one set of footprints.
I just don't understand why, when I needed You most,
You leave me.”

He whispered, “My precious child,
I love you and will never leave you
never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints
it was then that I carried you.”

Margaret Fishback Powers

I really feel that kids today are allowed too much freedom for EVERYTHING and that society is making parents feel bad if we don't allow certain 'rights' -- internet,satellite TV, new cars, cell phones,etc -- it is an instant everything society now. And sadly we have allowed our kids some of these but they have always been told that they are a privilege not a right, and they can be gone in an instant.  Kids have everything to readily available to them that they never learn to wait for something. They have a fight with a friend on their cell, words are said and can never be taken back again. They never have to learn to deal with life face on! It is all through typed words on a computer or phone. They never learn inflections in a voice to tell them that their words are hurting someone, or that they read a facial expression to see that they are treading on thin ice!  (climbing off my soap box now...)

 All this comes back to issues with Sam and relationships. We are now 'proud owners' of another cell phone(just in case I ever need to talk to 4people at once☺) , there has been a lock down on TV, internet and iPod usages. We had serious talks this weekend with our son but is he really getting it? OR is he just snowin' us? Are these problems due to hormones or his TBI? Are they down to us or him and his gf? Does he fully comprehend the seriousness of his, hers and their actions? 

I know there is a lot of reading between the lines here but honestly I don't know how to put it all into words, I am scared to even try for fear of saying it wrong and having someone 'read' it wrong and then think the worse of Sam  ... or me for that matter! There is no actual SEX occurring though just all the lead up and ramifications to this lead up that is happening...
I also know that all parents run or will run into sex issues with their kids and there are as many ways to handle it all as their are kids and parents involved ... I also am finding that maybe it is a taboo subject due to all the different ways that the issue is handled. I don't know of too many parents that want to admit to talking to their teen about sex.
I have been on the internet today looking up TBI and teen behaviour (yes that means sex) and there are a lot of interesting things out there -- but the question is... am I looking up the right stuff or do I just leave out the TBI part in the search engine!?  He says he is not ready but then I saw some emails he (and she) had sent and it started to make me wonder... so we confronted him with it and we talked and talked .... and talked .... and yes talked about it this weekend... but did he get it!? I don't think so. I think he said he did so he could get his folks off his back...
SO now the problem has become how and what to say to him so that he will listen and get it. There are a myriad of issues that are all involved here but I can't discuss them all or even want to begin to get into them... but please believe me when I say AARRRGGHHH! These darn oven mitts are making putting puzzle together in the dark a bit harder...

1 comment:

Marianne said...

Jodi I hear you! I am VERY open with my son about sex - and my daughters. I used to put my foot down but that just drove them away.
Now I am short and sweet. Too much talk makes them go to la-la land.
I have told them that they need to respect the gf or bf and respect themselves... once they are ready to settle down with a fiance/bf/gf for life will they be comfortable telling the one they they really love all about those they have been with? How will the one they love feel when they hear it? They will tell as there are no secrets between husband and wife. If they can't honestly say they can tell the one they love without hurting them...
I have also told them they are human... they may think they have the will power when the feeling strikes - but if for any reason it happens USE PROTECTION. Don't leave it up to the girl or guy... it is your responsibility.
I have a daughter that just moved out with her bf - I didn't stop it, I couldn't stop it - its her choice - do I like it? not really. But I have had to learn to let go - I have raised her to what is right and wrong - she knows I love her unconditionally - one good thing is she is terrified of pregnancy at this time in her life... I just have to let go and believe.